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Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water)

Morocco - Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water)

Morocco has a very dated electrical system that hasn’t been upgraded for several decades. Morocco runs on 127V/220V, with conversion to 220V on-going. European round two-prong style plugs are most common, with a few exceptions for round three-prong plugs. Simple adapters can be used to plug in electronic devices such as computers, digital cameras and some cell phones. Check that the device handles a range of 120-240V. This means the device can convert the higher voltage on its own. Grounded (three prong) plug adapters are available. Other devices like iPods, digital readers, and PDA’s that charge through a USB outlet on the computer can then be charged. Smaller appliances like hair dryers, curling irons, clocks and fans typically stop at 120V therefore a voltage converter is necessary. They can usually found in the travel section of department stores for about $20. Grounded (threeprong) plugs require an additional adapter to operate the converter. It is better to just buy these small appliances in Morocco because the converters don’t work most of these appliances, and Morocco has a wide range of small home appliances for reasonable prices.

Homes don’t have many outlets, as little as one per room, even in the kitchen. Power strips and multi-outlet extension chords are widely used. Be careful when using these extensions as they spark and blow easily and can catch fire. Limit plugged-in items to 3 or 4 (max) on a power strip.

Morocco’s utilities (electricity and water) are nationally managed, however high demand for electricity has forced the need for privatization leading to more choice in energy suppliers. Water and electricity utilities are usually combined so you can work with one company and one bill. The Officiel d’Electricite National is the government operated electrical supply company. To connect, bring a subscription form, identification card with name, and proof of address (notarized letter from landlord, residence certificate, or another utility bill from one of the past 3 months) to the office to schedule installation.

Most of the private companies operate in specific cities, with larger cities having multiple suppliers. It is best to inquire with your landlord (if renting) as to which company is best in town if they are not already supplying electricity and water supply. Expats in Casablanca can contact Lydec, and in Rabat, Redal.

If you live in a small apartment building (3-4 units), it is highly likely that the building owner has the water and electricity connected for the entire building, and the tenants divide the bill and pay equally to the landlord each month. Be sure to ask for a copy of the bill to check you are not being overcharged. An average bill for a small apartment is 150-200 DH ($20-25 USD) per month.

Gas is supplied for stoves, ovens, and hot water heaters through small and large tanks purchased at neighborhood grocery stores. Separate tanks would be required for stoves and hot water heaters. Smaller tanks can actually light on their own without being connected to a unit, and be used as a burner with a clay topper for heating tea kettles, or cooking with a pot or pan. The large gas tanks are about 70 DH ($10 USD) and last about 3 months with frequent use, longer if used less. Tanks are returned and replaced at the same location as purchased when they are empty.

The tap water is very safe to drink. In some cities it may not taste very good so many people purchase bottle water for drinking and use the tap water for cooking and cleaning. A majority homes and apartments do not have hot water taps, even though the faucets appear to have knobs for both.

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